October 2013 Letters

Opinions expressed in the pages of the magazine are those of the signed contributors or the editor and do not necessarily represent the official position of the University of Sydney.

Remarkable reverend indeed!

I write as an alumnus, a former senior student of St Andrew’s College and as a minister of the Presbyterian Church of Australia who, while supporting women’s ordination to both ministry and eldership, did not support Rev Peter Cameron when he was rightly charged by the Presbytery of Sydney with breach of the church’s subordinate standard the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Rev Dr Cameron was not charged because he supported the ordination of women to the ministry but because he publicly advocated the denial of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the supreme standard of faith and practice.

Hence Ian Edwards (SAM, Letters June 2013) is incorrect to claim that Rev Dr Cameron was charged with heresy because he stated “that there was no theologically sound reason why women and homosexuals should not be ordained to the ministry”.

It is worth noting that after Dr Cameron’s departure, the College Council under the leadership of the late Rev Doug Murray and with Dr Bill Porges as principal, was able to transform itself from a male-only bastion to its current and much happier co-educational status.

Rev Peter Dunstan
(BSc ’80 Dip Hort Sc ’81 BD ’87)
Annandale NSW

Bird rights and wrongs

The picture of a pigeon drew my eyes to read the article “Birds In The Organ Loft” (SAM June 2013) which was about the misadventure of a pigeon that fell into one of the organ pipes and became trapped.

The author then went on with suggested solutions which included “letting the bird die of starvation before pulling out the bits” which surely was “not desirable”. I thought the obvious reason behind that would be such action is cruel as it would cause a great deal of suffering to the bird.

However, to my surprise I then read “especially in the freshly-cleaned organ”. I was bewildered. So it was unacceptable for the bird to die of starvation because the organ was freshly cleaned, not because of the welfare of the animal? I cannot believe this appeared in a publication for the educated, let alone an institution with the oldest vet school in Australia.

Eva Tang (BVSc ’09)
Peakhurst NSW

Angkor's uncertain future

I must congratulate SAM on publishing its exclusive article “How Sydney Discovered the Lost City of Angkor” (SAM June 2013). I also offer my congratulations to the intrepid Sydney alumni, including Professor Roland Fletcher, Robert Christie and all who assisted them in their research.

I have always had a particular interest in Angkor and had the good fortune to visit it in 1968, well before the horrors of Pol Pot, and the pillaging and destruction of the ancient sites which sadly accompanied that period of anarchy.

As well as being a magical place to visit, it was also strangely eerie because, for most of the week we spent there, it seemed there was no one else in Angkor other than us. It is astonishing now to see how much of Angkor’s solitary tranquility has been lost to tourism. I suppose that it is inevitable that people will want to see Angkor Wat and the surrounding buildings but I feel that so much more will be lost to the ravenous jaws of commercial tourism if care is not taken.

Brian Millett (MA ’77)
Yass NSW

Correction

The article about Ann Macintosh (SAM March 2013) has a photo of the subject, with a man beside her, taken in Prague. Thecaption says the man was her husband. In fact, the man is Professor Raymond Dart.